Note: I apologize, but I got this wrong when it comes to backward compatibility for August. I am going to blame the painkillers after my medical procedure, but below is the updated and corrected story.
Assa Abloy, the company behind the Yale and August lock brands, will release a module that will allow Yale Assure lock owners to update their hardware to work with the upcoming Matter home interoperability standard. The module slots right into existing locks, although you will have to take off the plate as you would if you were changing the batteries. The Matter module will fit most of Yale’s hardware, going all the way back to 2016 locks.
This is good news for Yale owners and an example of a company leading the way when it comes to backward compatibility. Signify, the company behind the Philips Hue-branded bulbs, is also promising full backward compatibility to Matter for its Hue hardware, although not for its cheaper Wiz-branded bulbs. Google has also disclosed its plans for updating devices to Matter, with only the more recent versions of its thermostats and speakers getting an update. This might be particularly galling because as one of the originators of the Thread protocol used in Matter, older Nest gear actually has the appropriate radio support.
Assa Abloy customers can expect modules to be available after the release of the full Matter specification, which my sources guess will occur in June. Assa Abloy has not yet set a price for the updated module, so look for that in June as well. We’ll keep waiting for updates on Matter support from other smart home vendors. Locks can be a tough update in part because lock companies that connect via Zigbee or Z-wave don’t have direct ways to access their hardware over the internet. We’ll see if other lock vendors also plan to offer a replacement module and whether consumers take them up on it.
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